Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY BOARD AGREES TO RETURN ICONIC KOENIG SPHERE TO WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE

Date: Jul 21, 2016
Press Release Number: 131-2016

Sculpture that survived 9/11 WTC attacks to be located in Liberty Park

The Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners today approved plans to relocate the iconic Koenig Sphere – the centerpiece of the World Trade Center site prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks – back to the World Trade Center site in Liberty Park, which opened to the public last month.

The “Koenig Sphere” was named after German Artist Fritz Koenig, who was commissioned by the Port Authority to create the sculpture for the Austin J. Tobin Plaza outside the Twin Towers. The return of the Sphere from Battery Park to the World Trade Center site allows the iconic piece to return home and serve as a symbol of resilience and strength for workers, local residents and tourists visiting the September 11th Memorial Plaza and other parts of the site.

"The Sphere is a symbol of strength and survival and reflects the Port Authority’s continuing commitment to remember those, including 84 agency employees, who were lost 15 years ago and those who survived the terrible attacks at the World Trade Center site,” said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan.

“Returning the iconic Koenig sphere to its rightful home at the World Trade Center site symbolizes our resilience in the wake of unspeakable horror and that we will never forget those who were lost on that fateful day in September.” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Steven M. Cohen.

After 9/11, the Sphere was dedicated in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan at a temporary memorial on September 11, 2002, with an eternal flame ignited in honor of those who were lost on 9/11. Ongoing discussions have ensued throughout the years about the feasibility of returning the Sphere to its exact pre-9/11 resting place on what once was Austin J. Tobin Plaza. But with the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, the original street grid changed and the Sphere could not return to its prior location without adversely impacting the architectural design of the Memorial Plaza.

On June 29, 2016, Liberty Park, which is located above the roof of the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center, opened.The new park overlooks the Memorial Plaza, and has the capacity to accommodate the 25-ton sculpture, which is made of 52 bronze segments and stands 25-feet high.

Contact:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov


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